Oligodendroglioma is a tumor made of oligodendrocyte cells, a form of glial cells that are the underpinnings of brain tissue. Oligodendrocytes help form the myelin sheath, the protective covering over nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This malignancy of glial cells is called a glioma.
Causes and Symptoms of Oligodendrogliomas
Researchers have not yet determined the cause of oligodendrogliomas, but there are indications that chromosomal irregularities may play a role, at least in the more aggressive anaplastic oligodendrogliomas.
Oligodendrogliomas are generally very slow to grow and can take years to develop. Symptoms are similar to other brain tumors:
seizures, more than half of patients experience this symptom
If the tumor is in the frontal lobe, certain symptoms may appear:
weakness on one side of the body
shifts in mood
If the tumor occurs in the temporal lobe, other symptoms may arise:
walking or balance issues
How Is a Oligodendroglioma Diagnosed?
The most proficient brain imaging method to obtain an oligodendroglioma diagnosis is to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), although computed tomography (CT) scan may be able to identify calcifications in the mass. Usually the tumor appears as a gray or soft mass with calcium deposits, and can have bleeding or cysts.
A biopsy will help the pathologist determine the tumor grade, tumor size and type of cells—to provide the most accurate diagnosis.
Advanced Treatments for Oligodendrogliomas at NSPC
Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) offers premier medical care for brain tumors. Our Long Island Brain Tumor Center combines the latest treatment options with highly skilled physicians. Our board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists and neuroradiologists means that you get world-class care, right here in the New York area.
Often surgical removal of the tumor—with MRI follow ups for slow-growing tumors—along with radiation for any remaining tumors is recommended.
A few of the advanced tumor treatments that NSPC offers: Awake Craniotomy and Functional Mapping Your neurosurgeon employs technological advancements such as functional MRI (fMRI) during surgery, to monitor your sensory, speech and movement function.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery provides computerized, highly precise targeting of radiation beams at tumors—or any cancer that is inoperable with open surgery.
Anaplastic oligodendroglioma, a grade 3 tumor, is often treated with radiation and chemotherapy.
In order to determine whether a patient has an oligodendroglioma or a different kind of brain lesion, a biopsy of brain tissue needs to be scheduled. To schedule a consultation with one of our Long Island specialists, contact NSPC in New York today. We’re here to help, with the experience, expertise and technology you need.